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Bishop Deeley Announces Five Priest Assignments

PORTLAND---Bishop Robert P. Deeley has announced the following priest assignments which are all effective on Wednesday, January 9:

Fr. Anthony F. Kuzia, CM, has been named temporary administrator of Prince of Peace Parish (Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Holy Cross Church, and Holy Family Church, all in Lewiston), Holy Trinity Parish in Lisbon Falls, and Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Sabattus, which also includes St. Francis Church in Greene. Fr. Kuzia previously served as pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Lisbon Falls in the late 1990s. A native of Ansonia, Connecticut, Fr. Kuzia was received into the Vincentian community in 1969. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Niagara University in Lewiston, New York, and a master of divinity degree from Mary Immaculate Seminary in Northampton, Pennsylvania, before making his final vows on June 13, 1974. Fr. Kuzia was ordained to the priesthood in the Mary Immaculate Seminary chapel on May 29, 1976.  Since his ordination, Fr. Kuzia has served as a parochial vicar at St. Michael Church in Derby; faculty member at St. John Kanty Prep in Erie, Pennsylvania; superior, consultor, vocations director, and treasurer for the New England province of the Vincentian Order; pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Lisbon; vicar for priests for the Diocese of Portland; pastor of St. Peter and Sacred Heart Parishes in Concord, New Hampshire; pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Pelham, New Hampshire; and parochial vicar of St. Stanislaus Parish in New Haven, Connecticut. In addition, Fr. Kuzia was responsible for supervising the construction of the DePaul Provincial Residence in Manchester, Connecticut, and the current Holy Trinity Church in Lisbon.  


Fr. Matthew J. Gregory is resuming his assignment as parochial vicar of Prince of Peace Parish (churches comprising parish listed above), Holy Trinity Parish in Lisbon Falls, and Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Sabattus (includes St. Francis Church in Greene). Fr. Gregory had served as temporary administrator of the parishes since late October. A South Portland native, Fr. Gregory attended Cheverus High School in Portland and began formation at St. Mary’s Seminary & University in Baltimore, Maryland, in 2010. A year later, he transferred to Pope Saint John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts, where he completed his clerical studies. Fr. Gregory was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Robert P. Deeley on May 28, 2016, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland. His first assignment was as parochial vicar for Corpus Christi Parish in Waterville, where he served until being named parochial vicar at the Lewiston, Lisbon Falls, and Sabattus parishes in June of this year.


Fr. Johnson Sacreties Panneer Selvam, HGN, (“Fr. John”) has been appointed parochial vicar of Prince of Peace Parish in Lewiston (churches comprising parish listed above), Holy Trinity Parish in Lisbon Falls, and Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Sabattus, which also includes St. Francis Church in Greene. As part of his orientation program since arriving in the United States earlier this year, Fr. John has assisted at Nativity of the Blessed Mary Church in Presque Isle. A native of Gangapattu, India, Fr. John earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Annamalai University in Tamil Nadu, India. In 2014, he completed his theological studies at St. Joseph Major Seminary in Khammam, India, and was ordained to the priesthood on May 10, 2014, in Vellore, India. Since his ordination, Fr. John has served as assistant parish priest at Assumption Church in Puliyal, India, and St. Antony Church in Marambadi, India. Prior to receiving his assignment in Maine, he served at the Shrine of Apostle St. Thomas and Our Lady of Health in Little Mount (Chinnamalai), India. The shrine, one of the most famous in India, is said to be one of the places where St. Thomas, an apostle of Jesus, lived and preached. 


Fr. Anthony Kanagaraj Chinnaiyan, HGN, (“Fr. Tony”) has been appointed parochial vicar of St. Paul the Apostle Parish (St. John Church, Bangor; St. Mary Church, Bangor; St. Joseph Church, Brewer; St. Teresa Church, Brewer; St. Matthew Church, Hampden; St. Gabriel Church, Winterport). Since March of 2018, he has served as parochial vicar of Prince of Peace Parish (churches comprising parish listed above), Holy Trinity Parish in Lisbon Falls, and Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Sabattus, which also includes St. Francis Church in Greene. Originally from Tamil Nadu, India, Fr. Tony completed his theological studies at St. Joseph’s Major Seminary in Khammam, India, and was ordained to the priesthood on December 21, 2005. Since his ordination, Fr. Tony has served as the dean of studies at a minor seminary (2005-2007), as an assistant parish priest (2007-2008), and as a parish priest (2008-2010), all in the Diocese of Tiruchirappalli, India. He was also the director of a retreat center in Tirunelveli, India (2010-2012). His first missionary assignment outside of India was in the Diocese of Saint-Hyacinthe in Quebec, Canada (2012-2014), after which he returned home to serve as procurator for the Heralds of Good News Mary Queen of Apostles Province where he served until receiving his assignment in Maine.


Fr. Nehru Stephen Savayaria, HGN, is resuming his assignment as parochial vicar of Parish of the Precious Blood (Holy Rosary Church, Caribou; Sacred Heart Church, Caribou; Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, Presque Isle; Our Lady of the Lake Church, Portage; St. Catherine Church, Washburn; St. Denis Church, Fort Fairfield; St. Joseph Church, Mars Hill; St. Louis Church, Limestone; St. Mark Church, Ashland; St. Theresa Church, Stockholm). Fr. Nehru Stephen had served as parochial vicar of Parish of the Precious Blood before accepting a temporary assignment as parochial vicar at Prince of Peace Parish in Lewiston in November of 2018. Born in Pinjivakkam Kandigai, India, Fr. Nehru Stephen earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Annamalai University in Tamil Nadu, India. He was ordained to the priesthood on April 10, 2013, at Heralds of Good News Minor Seminary, also in Tamil Nadu. Since his ordination, he has served as an assistant parish priest at St. Thomas Mount International Shrine in Chennai, India, which marks the burial place of St. Thomas, the apostle. He then served as house superior at the Heralds of Good News provincialate for two years before departing for his new assignment in Maine, where he has served since 2016.

Note: Fr. Kuzia is a member of the Congregation of the Mission (CM), a Catholic society of apostolic life founded by St. Vincent de Paul. Fr. John, Fr. Tony, and Fr. Nehru Stephen are members of the Heralds of Good News (HGN), a missionary society of apostolic life in India that specializes in the promotion of vocations to the priesthood.